September 18th 2014, Scotland held a historic vote concerning whether or not to secede from the United Kingdom. Results were tallied and released in the night, early in the morning, yielding 55% in favor of remaining in the UK. Until the very last moment, reports indicated that each side had roughly equal support, mentioning that the result could go in either direction. The fact that it was so close had many concerned, including Western leaders, who quickly voiced their opinion days and hours leading to the first ballot. Personally, I think Scotland made the right decision, however, I do not think independence would have been as disastrous as our media implied. This implication, I’m inclined to think, was more or less an alarmist tactic to sway opinions, and ultimately votes, in their desired unionist direction. In the event Scotland seceded, sure, they would pay a high price initially (a very high price), however in the long run it very well could have been for their benefit.
In the event Scotland had chosen to secede, the following would have been obvious consequences: they would be flooded with national debt, which until then, was alleviated by the UK. In a few short years, they would have to completely remove themselves from the UK and organize a centralized government in Edinburgh. Their newly emboldened State border would complicate trade and economic ties between England and the rest of the Kingdom. Scotland would need a centralized bank, which they would not have…. leading to, perhaps, the most significant factor – their currency. The United Kingdom’s ace of spades.
The UK told Scotland that if they secede, they would no longer be able use British currency. Further complicating the issue, if they left the United Kingdom – a partial member of the European Union – the EU declared that they would have to go through the full and lengthy process of obtaining EU membership, taking the Euro off the table (in the short term). Scotland would be left having to form their own currency, which, of course, can be done, but requires a lot of national debt and stressful economic uncertainty.
The Western World stacked the deck against Scotland’s secession. The United States through their media and the Administration’s unionist support. The United Kingdom by pinning Scotland’s back against the wall with their British Pound. And the European Union by requiring that Scotland begin the full process of obtaining membership, even though they currently remain a partial member.
In theory, if Scotland’s vote fell in the opposite direction, eventually they would have full control of their Nation’s resources, and be governed by Scotts from their Capital city. Many there feel that this scenario would lead to better consideration of their national interests, and an overall improvement of society. I understand and sympathize with this desire.
Why then do I think Scotland made the right decision? For the sake of their short-term hardship, and the fact that I like the United Kingdom and would hate to see it dissolve. The UK has created a very nice society that functions admirably. There is nothing wrong with wanting to hold to such a thing, even at the helm of the promise of greater things. Maybe if the Western World would not have made it so difficult, I would think otherwise. The status quo is a powerful thing and I understand why people want to keep it. I am prone to keep it in my personal life… far more than I would like, actually.
Lastly, I would like to create a hypothetical scenario for the purpose of the situation in Ukraine.
Imagine, in Scotland, after the unionists’ democratic victory over the separationists, 55% to 45%, the separationists then decide to seize Edinburgh in a violent coup. They overthrow the political victory, through force, and set themselves up as Scotland’s authority, ultimately leading them to secede from the United Kingdom, into independence. Having seized the government, the unionists then reject the legitimacy of this government, at which point the new government chooses to wage a military campaign against the Scottish citizens who desire political union with the UK. Further, World Powers insist in the legitimacy of the new separationist government, saying that it is the right of the people to “choose their own destiny,” and then partners with them politically, all the while reserving their indignation for those who fight back.
This mirrors what happened in Ukraine, and the Western World’s response to it… which I find to be utter madness.
Long live the Queen!